Construction accident injury cases can be one of the most complex to understand and successfully win. This is due to:
- The range of types of construction accidents
- Everyday use of potentially dangerous construction tools and equipment (product liability)
- Multiple possible liable parties
- The possibility of multiple types of claims for the same accident
- The need for careful construction accident investigation and experienced negotiation of construction accident injury cases.
Construction Injuries: Frequent and Serious
Construction is a dangerous business. Each year in the U.S. tens of thousands of construction workers are injured while on the job, and, on average, over 1,000 die.
- OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, reported one in ten construction site workers are injured every year. Fall hazards are the leading cause of injury at construction sites.
- According to OSHA, far too many preventable injuries and fatalities occur. Significant hazards and unsafe conditions exist in U.S. workplaces; each year more than 3.3 million working men and women suffer a serious job-related injury or illness. Millions more are exposed to toxic chemicals that may cause illnesses years from now.
- Workers and their families suffer great emotional and psychological costs, in addition to the loss of wages and the costs of caring for the injured, which further weakens the economy.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, while falls make up the majority of the construction site accidents, contact with equipment was also a significant cause of injury for workers.
- NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, reported in 2005 that 1,224 construction workers died on the job over the course of one year, making the construction industry the most dangerous industry in the country.
- Even if you are not seriously injured, you may not be able to return to a physically demanding job and support yourself and your family.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been in a Construction Accident?
Immediately: notify your employer, get medical attention, take photos as soon as possible, get a list of witnesses, and consult a lawyer.
Some lawsuits are subject to a Statute of Limitations, so it’s important to contact a construction injury lawyer right away to preserve your rights. For more details, see our article Mistakes People Make After a Work Injury…
Construction Site Injury Causes
Negligence, cost cutting, unrealistic timelines, product defects and failure to adhere to safety policies and procedures can result in avoidable construction site accidents. Many of these types of accidents can also affect pedestrians, motorists and people in neighboring buildings in the vicinity of a construction site.
Some common causes of construction accidents include:
- Improper use or maintenance of equipment
- Cranes, Bulldozers, Backhoes and other heavy machinery
- Collapsed Structures
- Compressed gasses
- Being entrapped or crushed between objects, machinery, or materials
- Defective equipment
- Derrick work
- Electrical work – shocks, burns, from exposed wires, power lines, unfinished electrical systems
- Exposures to toxic substances – fumes, dust, aerosols and more
- Falling objects, debris or equipment
- Falling from elevated heights from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, girders, windows and more “Each year in the U.S. more than 310 construction workers are killed and more than 10,350 are seriously injured by falls from heights.“
- Fires and explosions
- Gas detectors
- Hoists Poor safety precautions & oversight
- Insufficient training
- Mechanical hazards
- Misuse of machinery or tools
- Power tools – drills, electric nail gun, electric saws
- Tractors & trucks
- Motorized work vehicles
- Woodworking tools
Types of Construction Accident Sites
We will represent clients who have been injured on a variety of construction sites, including:
- Power plant
Construction Accident Lawsuit Types
Personal Injury Lawsuit
In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party must prove that a third party was negligent, and that this negligence led to their injury. Read more about Personal Injury Lawsuits…
Product Liability Lawsuit
If the injury was caused by a defective product, the injured party can bring a suit against any party in the chain of distribution. For example, if a scaffold on a construction site fails due to a defect, the worker may be able to recover compensation from the retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, or any other party involved in distributing the scaffold. Read more about Product Liability Lawsuits…
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The family of a worker who is killed on the job may be able to bring a wrongful death claim on the worker’s behalf. Read more about Wrongful Death Lawsuits…
What Rights Do I have?
How can a Construction Injury Lawyer Help Me Protect Them?
Your rights include: assessing your legal options, and seeking recovery of damages for medical expenses, including future or ongoing expenses that are required for you to make the best recovery possible.
Construction accidents can cause extreme physical, financial, and psychological distress for victims and their families. Dealing with the trauma of a serious and possibly permanent injury, as well as the expensive medical bills and loss of income has significant negative impact on a person’s life. An experienced construction accident attorney may be able to help recover:
- Counseling costs
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of wages
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing living expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy costs
- Property damage costs
Injured workers can’t file lawsuits against their employers because they are entitled to Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefits, but if the accident was the result of negligence by another entity (not your direct employer), then you might be able to file a third-party lawsuit to recover an appropriate level of compensation based on the severity of your injuries.
Who can be Held Liable for Construction Accident Injuries?
While some injuries are simple accidents, other injuries are sustained as a result of carelessness or the negligence of someone else such as construction site owners, general contractors, sub-contractors, manufacturers and distributors of faulty equipment, or another third party.
Workers’ Compensation benefits
You can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits by proving only that an injury occurred, regardless of the circumstances, even if it was due to your own carelessness. Even if the claim is accepted and paid, workers compensation benefits may be extremely inadequate to provide for your future needs, particularly if you have suffered an injury that will have a long-term effect on your health, quality of life or earning power.
Can an attorney help protect my OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) rights?
Thanks to OSHA, US employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. OSHA helps to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA covers most private sector employers and their workers.
Since OSHA was put in place in 1970, workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths have fallen dramatically. They have established common sense standards and enforced the law against those who put workers at risk and have saved thousands of lives and prevented countless injuries and illnesses. OSHA is working to protect workers from deadly safety hazards at work, ensuring that vulnerable workers in high-risk jobs have access to critical information and education about job hazards, and providing employers with vigorous compliance assistance to promote best practices that can save lives.
OSHA’s safety and health standards, including rules for asbestos, fall protection, cotton dust, trenching, machine guarding, benzene, lead and bloodborne pathogens, have prevented countless work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.
OSHA rights include:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Filing a confidential complaint with OSHA to have their workplace inspected.
- Receiving information and training about hazards, methods to prevent harm, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. The training must be done in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
- Receiving copies of records of work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in their workplace.
- Receiving copies of the results from tests and monitoring done to find and measure hazards in their workplace.
- Receiving copies of their workplace medical records.
- Participating in an OSHA inspection and speak in private with the inspector.
- Filing a complaint with OSHA if they have been retaliated against by their employer as the result of requesting an inspection or using any of their other rights under the OSH Act.
- Filing a complaint if punished or retaliated against for acting as a “whistleblower” under the 21 additional federal laws for which OSHA has jurisdiction.
Workers can get help from an attorney to assist with OSHA violations, including filing a complaint with OSHA for an injury caused by lack of compliance with OSHA rules and filing a complaint against the employer who has retaliated against an employee for exercising their OSHA rights.
For more information, visit OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov.
Third Party Liability in Construction Accidents
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace that does not have serious hazards. They must find and correct safety and health problems, first by eliminating or reducing hazards by making feasible changes in working conditions rather than relying on personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, or earplugs. Switching to safer chemicals, trapping harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to eliminate or reduce risks.
Employer and other responsible parties such as contractors must:
- Warn of any hazards at the site or inherent in the job itself.
- Ensure the work is being performed according to safety regulations.
- Inform workers about chemical hazards through training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets and other methods.
- Provide safety training to workers in a language and vocabulary they can understand.
- Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling, required by some OSHA standards.
- Provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
- Provide hearing exams or other medical tests required by OSHA standards.
- Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace fatality or within 24 hours of any work-related inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.
- Not retaliate against workers for using their rights under the law, including their right to report a work-related injury or illness.
In some cases, multiple claims may be filed against responsible parties, including:
- Construction Site Owner(s)
- General and Sub-Contractors
- Prime Contractors
- Architects and Engineers
How Jim Ackerman Wins Construction Accident Cases
Gather and preserve evidence
We gather evidence from your accident, including camera recordings, police records and witness accounts to help build your case.
We gather records such as your medical records, medical bills, and insurance policy information.
Review and evaluate your case
We work carefully to review the evidence and the extent of your injuries to determine the case for litigation.
We identify all liable parties and determine the type of claim(s) you should pursue, against whom and for how much compensation.
Successfully negotiate construction accident injury cases
We start outside the courtroom to negotiate with the defense parties to get you the compensation you may be entitled to as quickly as possible.
Should settlement negotiations be unsuccessful, we are experienced and prepared to go to trial, present your case, and represent your interests aggressively to help get you what you deserve.
Hire an Experienced Construction Accident and Injury Lawyer
If your injury has the potential to affect the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself and your family to make the most of any opportunity you have to seek compensation while you can.
Let Jim Ackerman put his knowledge and experience to work for you – investigating your claim, sorting out who is liable and getting you what you deserve. Call Jim at 217-789-1977.